Big-hearted maintenance staff have helped save Christmas for locked down care home residents.
They worked around the clock to build a special sleigh so that Santa Claus could come to switch on the festive lights at the Pendine Park care organisation in Wrexham.
Delighted residents watched from their windows as they enjoyed the ever-magical sight of the man of the moment arriving as darkness fell.
Maintenance man Paul Morris, who had joined his colleagues in making the sleigh, said: “This has been about doing something for the residents.
“All of us have enjoyed putting the sleigh together. The residents have also played their part and there has been a good community spirit.
“It’s a shame the current situation means we can’t go inside, but this has more than made up for it and we hope the residents have enjoyed it.”
The small team of maintenance workers wanted to ensure residents and staff did not lose out this Christmas because of lockdown.
They were rewarded by seeing the happiness the sleigh’s visit provided.
It marked the culmination of weeks of preparation work for the team, who had been helping create the sleigh by coming in on their days off and working voluntarily.
Maintenance manager Lee Williams was thrilled to see reaction of residents after the effort the staff had put in.
“The main thing we are trying to achieve is to brighten up everyone’s Christmas,” he said.
“This year we thought we have got to make an extra special effort to do the sleigh.
“If it puts a smile on anybody’s face then then that makes it worthwhile.”
Lee praised the work of his team, as well as the ingenuity displayed in creating such an authentic-looking sleigh.
“We have utilised what we have in our workshop to put together what is on the sleigh,” he said.
“The lads have been giving up their time at weekends to do this.
“They have all wanted to be involved and I really appreciate the effort they have put in.”
The sleigh was pulled by quad bike and accompanied by a small motorbike, with elf ‘Sven’ (Stu Jones) joining Santa in spreading some festive joy.
Stu, who does not work for Pendine Park but is friends with Lee, said: “This is all in aid of a good cause.
“After the year we have all had it is nice to be able to do something that makes people happy.
“We have had fun today and hopefully the residents have as well.”
Festive favourites including Merry Christmas Everyone, Jingle Bell Rock and Wonderful Christmastime were played as the sleigh made its way past the care homes on Friday, December 4.
The sleigh was decorated with fairy lights and contained Christmas present boxes.
The boxes were made by a small group of residents, who worked under the guidance of Pendine Park’s artist in residence Sarah Edwards. The residents also painted the Ho ho ho sign on the back of the sleigh.
Sarah said: “At Pendine we wanted to spread some Christmas cheer after what has been a difficult year because of lockdown.
“The Pendine team all want to make it the best Christmas it can possibly be in the circumstances.
“The sleigh is brilliant and I am grateful to the maintenance team for all the effort they have put in.
“The residents did not know what was going to happen. This event has been a big surprise for them.”